Black World Studies


Bachelor of Arts | College of Arts and Science

What is Black World Studies?

Note: The Black World Studies major has been revised and renamed Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES), effective for students matriculating in Fall 2019 or later. See the CRES advisor for more information.

Black World Studies (BWS) is the study, research, interpretation, and the dissemination of knowledge concerning African American, African, and Caribbean affairs and culture. Using the tools of the social sciences and humanities, Black World Studies examines the structure, organization, problems, and perspectives of Blacks in Africa and the African Diaspora. The program also stresses analytical interpretations and policy prescriptions for social change in African American communities and various Caribbean and African nations. Black World Studies recognizes the centrality of Africans and Africa in the making of the modern world. The program, which centers on the African Diaspora, provides an analytical perspective that facilitates the development of both problem solving and reflection associated with critical thinking.

Both critical and corrective of the inadequacies, omissions, and distortions of mainstream American education leading into the 21st century, Black World Studies is committed to providing its students with a challenging, engaging, and sound program.

What are the features of Miami’s program?

Global perspective

Miami's program is one of the few that includes a Caribbean, transnational, and global approach. We look at the African diaspora—the forceable movement of Africans around the world—from a global perspective, studying the experience of Puerto Ricans, Latinos, and European Africans as well as African Americans.

Interdisciplinary curriculum

We recognize how different areas of the black experience influence each other, so our program reflects that. Our courses show the connection between politics, the arts, geography, education, business, and other areas.

Service learning

Many courses integrate community service work with their academic programming.

Study abroad

Students can make their global understanding come alive through our summer study programs in the West African countries of Ghana or Senegal, and in Brazil.

What are the special admission requirements, if any?

There are no additional admission requirements for this program.

What courses would I take?

In addition to Global Miami Plan courses, BWS majors take courses in four broad areas of the program: Africa, Brazil, or the Caribbean; black culture; African Americans; and Africa and the Diaspora. With these classes, you will develop an awareness and appreciation of the social, political, and cultural diversity of the black world. You'll also be able to recognize, evaluate, and analyze the historic, artistic, scientific, and humanitarian contributions of Africans, individually and collectively, to the world. Because the program offers courses in so many different areas, you can design a course of study that addresses your individual interests.

What can I do with this major?

Miami graduates work in a range of fields: in communications as journalists and public opinion analysts; in government in public affairs, community development, and as minority program coordinators; in education as teachers, counselors, and admissions officers; in business as cross-cultural communications specialists, marketing directors, and fund-raising directors.

Like many students, you could continue your education in graduate school in areas such as law, business, history, art, psychology, or medical school. Past students have been accepted into many competitive programs at Duke, Yale, Harvard, and the University of Chicago.

Who can I contact for more information?

Black World Studies Program
120 MacMillan Hall
Oxford, OH 45056